The graphical presentation of lead isotope data for environmental source apportionment

Ellam, R.M. (2010) The graphical presentation of lead isotope data for environmental source apportionment. Science of the Total Environment, 408(16), pp. 3490-3492. (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.03.037)

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Lead isotope ratios are widely used to identify original sources of Pb in the environment. Such source apportionment depends on the ability to distinguish potential sources on the basis of their isotopic composition. However, almost all terrestrial Pb is co-linear in some of the plots i.e. <sup>206</sup>Pb/<sup>208</sup>Pb versus <sup>206</sup>Pb/<sup>207</sup>Pb and <sup>206</sup>Pb/<sup>204</sup>Pb versus <sup>206</sup>Pb/<sup>207</sup>Pb commonly presented in the literature. These diagrams are unable to distinguish more than two sources of environmental Pb. Linear trends in such plots are an inevitable consequence of the co-linearity of terrestrial leads and should not be taken necessarily to indicate simple binary mixing of sources. A more reliable test for multiple source mixing can be obtained from plots involving <sup>206</sup>Pb/<sup>204</sup>Pb, <sup>207</sup>Pb/<sup>204</sup>Pb and <sup>208</sup>Pb/<sup>204</sup>Pb and therefore requires measurements of the minor <sup>204</sup>Pb isotope.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellam, Professor Rob
Authors: Ellam, R.M.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Science of the Total Environment
ISSN (Online):1879-1026
Published Online:30 April 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Science of the Total Environment 408(16):3490-3492
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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